Capital Steez: the late pioneer of East Coast rap


Rodolfo Diaz

Capital Steez was a highly intelligent and influential rapper in the formation of rap on the East Coast

Nick Bell

Capital Steez was a rapper prominent in creating Beastcoast, a modern-day rap group on the East Coast. He was also one of the leading figures of his own group Pro Era. Real name Courtney Everald Dewar Jr. Dewar, he was a widely influential figure in hip-hop. Dewar passed away on December 24, 2012, by suicide.

Steez was as much of a political activist as he was a lyricist. His first and only solo mix-tape, AmeriKKKan Korruption, is a raw, unfiltered, documentation of the struggles that both he and his community faced.

Someone who has been as influential on the current hip-hop scene as Steez, who is outspoken about political issues, would often be thought to be in their twenties or thirties. Sadly, Steez passed away 7 months before his 20th birthday. His art becomes even more astounding when one realizes that most of it was created while he was a high schooler.

Steez is not only influential because of his own music. As previously mentioned, he helped found both Pro Era and Beastcoast. Pro Era is a rap group comprised of Steez, Joey Bada$$, Kirk Knight, and several other prolific rappers. Beastcoast is a group comprised of Pro Era, Flatbush Zombies, and The Underachievers–all of whom started rapping in Flatbush.

Free the Robots is Steez’s biggest track to date. The song plays as more of a ramble, as Steez raps about the corruption and doom in today’s political climate, and the socioeconomic struggles faced by him and many of his peers.

The appeal of Capital Steez to many is his lyricism and wordplay. It is about what he says, and how he says it. He can twist and manipulate his cadence and pronunciation to complete a rhyme-scheme while detailing his experiences. It’s as if his voice is a brush and the instrumental is a blank canvas.

Capital Steez is a wildly underrated rapper who influenced much of modern rap on the East Coast and his discography is definitely worth checking out during your time off.